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Coming Up Roses
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Coming Up Roses

The view from here is quite pleasant. The goal I have been working towards for over two years is nearly complete: I finished my Library School comprehensive exams successfully on Saturday afternoon. While I will not officially find out the results until after Thanksgiving, I am not terribly worried as I feel pretty good about what I wrote and what positions I argued in my essays. Most importantly, it is over. If all goes well, and as planned, I will graduate this December with my Masters degree. Things are "coming up roses"!

Life is definitely good.

Exhibit A: Without a weekly study group to attend, I had the whole Sunday free to do whatever I pleased. So, Kris and I made a nice breakfast, I read a book in its entirety, and I knit for most of the afternoon and evening. It was absolutely cathartic. It was still hard to break the thought that I should have been doing something else (namely, studying!)… because that was not the case!

… and this is what I accomplished yesterday afternoon…

Wool Mitten

This is the Basic Mitten pattern from last fall's Family Circle Easy Knitting magazine. It is such a fast and easy pattern, and I couldn't be happier with the way this one turned out. The yarn has been in my stash for so long – it is the beautiful Ironstone New Wool in colorway 5011. I bought it over two years ago – that is ancient history in my stash – and I was so excited to cast on for a project with it. After using it, I wondered why I waited so long. The colors are magnificent. Now for mitten #2 and then I will have Warm Hands!

My, How Fetching

My, how Fetching! Yep, I joined the craze – I saw these little darlings popping up all over the blogosphere, so I gave it a whirl. A few hours later, I had an adorable mitt! This pattern is fun and addictive. More in my future, no doubt. I am using a random ball of Karabella Aurora 8 that I picked up a few months back, and wow, what a yarn. I had never worked with this before. I love the "sproing" of the yarn. It is so cushy. Very cozy. Needless to say, I didn't waste any time casting on for its mate.

Yes, I realize they are not socks ;)

Exhibit B: Knitty rewards for hard work. It's good to give yourself a little "pat on the back" after you accomplish something big, right? So, to congratulate myself for completing my grad school work, I treated myself to a pretty Fair Isle knit kit.

Dale of Norway Heilo wool

When I asked you back in September for some advice on where to start with colorwork, many of you mentioned that a hat was perfect for a first project. So, I listened. After seeing Keri's beautiful Flenten hat last week, I decided a Bea Ellis kit was the way to go. I chose the Kristen hat, as I really liked the snowflake motif. My colors are slightly different than the model, more of a navy and an ecru. I hope I can do it justice! I am very excited to try this!

My other big reward comes this weekend, as I will be going to Stitches East on Saturday and Sunday!


I don't have an exhaustive shopping list or anything – I am really hoping to find some Noro (Norovember, anyone?) for the beautiful Lady Eleanor wrap from Scarf Style, and some laceweight yarns.Of course, if I see something else that stops me "dead in my tracks", I reserve the right to purchase it. ;) Going to Stitches? Let me know! and say hi if you see me, I would love to meet you!

Exhibit C: I leave for vacation in 10 days! Kris and I take one big vacation a year, and this year we are headed to San Francisco and Napa Valley. I am very excited to see this part of the country – I have only been to SF's airport! I am looking forward to exploring the city, checking out some museums, yarn shops, and hopefully meeting some knitters! For the latter part of the trip, we will be staying just outside of the town of Napa. I will celebrate my 26th birthday with some delicious wines and beautiful scenery!

Exhibit D: I think I found my life's calling. I am not saying that lightly! It may require some more schooling… but that is something that I am completely willing to do if I can make my passion my life's work. I am so excited about this opportunity. Yes, I know this is all very vague, but I feel this is the best way at this point so I don't jinx myself! More details as they come in, my friends ;)

Exhibit E: Socktoberfest has been an utterly amazing project: Fun, successful, inspiring, rewarding, and educational. I could not have hoped for anything more. Thank you – strike that -


for the wonderful month. Yes, I know it is not over, but I just couldn't post without saying how grateful I am for your participation and support.

…and finally, one more exciting reason why life is good right now: I am going to see one of my favorite bands tonight! The Decemberists are in DC and you bet your bippy I am picking up their new "Sublime Stiching" limited-edition embroidery kits! I can't wait ;)

*Knit, crochet, and be merry, my friends,
for tomorrow Socktoberfest is over!

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94 Responses

  1. ellie

    Congratulations! And enjoy your celebrating and vacation.

  2. Diane D.

    Congratulations on finishing your exams! Love your mitten and mitt.

  3. MJ

    Yeah! More time to knit now!
    You should treat yourself for all the hard work!

  4. Leslie

    Congrats on finishing exams and finding your life’s calling!!! I love the mitten and Fetching — I am planning to try Fetching soon with some Malabrigo. I also can’t wait to see how the Fair Isle hat goes. I may get the courage to try it myself after seeing how yours comes out. Hope to see you in San Francisco! :)

  5. Kathy

    Drop me an e-mail and let me know when you plan to be at Stitches on Saturday and we can set a rendezvous point. This time, we WILL meet! hee!

    Thanks for mentioning (and joining) Norovember! A good word from Lolly is the best advertising out there!

  6. Dorothy B

    Congratulations on finishing your exams! I’m so glad you are feeling confident about how you did on them. That’s always a good feeling. I am curious about your life’s calling though.

    I hope you have fun both on vacation and at Stitches East.

    I really enjoyed all the tutorials, interviews and pictures throughout Socktoberfest. You did a really good job with the whole thing. Maybe next year I will actually finish more than an inch or two on a sock.

  7. Shelley

    Congrats on finishing your exams! The mitten looks great – you could join my mitten KAL ;o). I haven’t done any hand/wrist warmers yet, but I plan on doing some. You did a great job on yours.

  8. Jenn

    At Stitches Midwest there was a vendor selling Noro for $60 a bag. Chances are they’ll be there again.

  9. yahaira

    sweeet! you can now relax and enjoy yourself!

    life’s calling? can’t wait to hear more!!!

  10. Clare

    Congrats! From someone who has done postgrad studies, I understand that joyous relief! That guilty feeling should pass in around…oh, three years. Unfortunately now you have the study bug, you’re stuck with it, but it sounds like that might be handy for your secret squirrel plan… Also, your fetchings look great!

  11. Eva

    Congratulations on finishing your exams!!! Enjoy the extra knitting time.

    Thank you for hosting Socktoberfest! I have had a lot of fun and have knitted several socks (both pairs and singulars).

  12. maryse

    congratulations on everything

    but i want to know what your life calling is. since i’m still searching for mine.

    oh i cast on a sock this morning — so i made the deadline for soctoberfest.

  13. Knitopia

    Ooh, I like The Decemberists, and they’re from ’round here. And how I miss the 9:30 Club. Have fun!

  14. sUsAn

    Hurray for finishing your exams!!!! Thx for hosting a wonderful Socktober!

  15. grumperina

    Wouldn’t you know it, I’m getting a Kristen hat kit myself! I chose different colors, but, like you, it was the snowflake motif that dragged me in. I’m happy to hear that you’re so… happy!!! :)

  16. Cheryl

    The old librarian says, “Yahoo!” I knew you’d do it. My Socktoberfest was successful. I knit one sock, will cast on #2 tonight. Old librarians knit slowly.

  17. Lisa

    Congratulations! I cannot believe that you were able to host Socktoberfest while preparing for your comps! You’re amazing.

    Thanks for a wonderful month. All my socks will be given away (Sock Wars and Socks for Soldiers), but it definitely rekindled my love for sock knitting.

  18. Maritza

    Congratulations! Yay for you!!!
    Beautiful mitten, too. I love the yarn you used. I better get started with mine.
    You rock for organizing Socktoberfest.

  19. Marisol

    Congratulations Lolly! That is so awesome that you can say you are done! Remember “The World is your Oyster” Let see what the future holds for you:)

  20. The Purloined Letter

    Congratulations on finishing your exam!! Great news. (I’m within a month of finishing my book, so I can’t wait to celebrate with you!)

    Even though I did not finish a single pair of socks, I loved Soctoberfest. The interviews and tutorial information was fantastic!

  21. beverly

    Yay for finishing exams! I’m waiting to hear how my comps went, still…

  22. Jenn

    Congratulations on finishing your graduate work, I’m sure you passed your tests with flying colors!

    I can’t believe Socktoberfest is already coming to an end. I’ll finish my Dublin Bay socks tonight, I was hoping to do another pair but it wasn’t in the cards.

    I’m glad you got yourself some knitterly gifts, you deserve them!

  23. Lisa

    Happy upcoming birthday, have a great vacation, and congrats on the epiphany regarding your life’s calling – all great news! Cute mitten too!!

  24. cathy

    Congratulations! There can never be too many knitting librarians. :)
    I can’t believe your LIS program has comps! I was thrilled that my program didn’t, but maybe that’s a Canadian thing…
    Also, thank you for putting together Socktober. I had so much fun.

  25. tiennie

    Yay!!! Congrats and take a bow for all your hard work. Seriously cool! Now you can get to knittin’ ;)

  26. Adam

    Oh, I love the Decemberists! Take me with you!

    And congrats on finishing your exams, and the pending completion of your Masters! I’m definitely looking forward to this time next year, when I’ll finish my M.S.

    Thanks so much for Socktoberfest too! It’s been a blast. I don’t know how you managed to organize so many informative and fun blog posts about the wonderful sock, all while studying for the comps. Kudos!

  27. jocelyn

    How cool that you are coming to the Bay Area. I live 30 mins South of the city, so if there is a get together of knitters, I’d love to come. Please keep us posted.

  28. meg

    Congrats on the near completion of Library School! I am about to start down that path – I start my second masters in January here in Boston.

    Thank YOU for hosting a wonderful KAL, I wish that I had settled on a pattern (and knit it) at the beginning of the month, but I am sure by the New Year I will have finished my Soctoberfest socks.

  29. heather

    I may be able to pull one out in the wee hours tonight…a finished pair of socks I mean!

    enjoy your concert!

    love the mitten kitten!

  30. Jody

    I can’t wait for Stitches either – we should try to meet up! It’s funny you mentioned Noro for a Lady Eleanor – I just bought 10 skeins of Noro to make that! I got them on sale in New Mexico – $5 a ball!!!

    I did go to La Lana while I was in Taos – but couldn’t bring myself to pay $20 for a 70 yard skein of the wool used in the original Lady Eleanor.
    it comes out to about $360 for the wrap using their yarn – Noro is definitely a more budget friendly choice!

    Congrats again on finishing your exams!! yeah!

  31. fawn

    I’m jealous – have a great time at the Decembrists! They aren’t coming to NC on this tour… boo hoo! Also, I am intimidated by your fair isle.. though I’m sure you will trounce it. Congrats on the end of exams!

  32. Karen

    That wonderful news! I hope it all works out the way you want it to. I still haven’t found my life’s calling yet! ;)

    Your mitten and Fetching are lovely. Sometimes it’s nice to make something small that isn’t a sock.

  33. Sarah

    Hey there Madame Librarian! Congrats on finally finishing school – such a relief!

    I’ll be at Stitches – I think Paula and I are going to try to go one of the two days (or both, who knows). Let’s pick a time to meet!

  34. keri

    Congratulations, so happy for you!

    Thank you for the sweet hat mention, I can’t believe how fast your kit came and I really love the colors you chose! =)

    Love the fetching…for some reason this year socks just weren’t working for me, I hope next time I can actually finish a pair of socks in socktober (it’s tougher than it sounds! =))

  35. Whitney

    Congratulations on being done with your exams! Woohoo! I definitely know what you mean with feeling like you should be studying even though there’s none of that left to do. It’s disorienting, but in a good way!

    Also, that’s one lovely mitten you have there. The colors are just gorgeous.

    Here’s hoping I can get my second sock done in time for the end of Socktoberfest!

  36. Mia

    Congrads Lolly!!!!! I can’t wait to hear what you have planned next.

  37. Sue

    Your fetching gloves look fantastic. I love your mittens too, very pretty colorway. Congrats on finishing your studying, and I hope you enjoy your holiday, it sounds like it is long overdue. I cannot wait to see where you go on your trip. I like your hat kit, the colors are very nice.

  38. Kim

    We should all be sending you a huge THANK YOU for organizing Socktoberfest and all of the great interviews, tutorials and photos, all while completing your exams! You are so sweet to have made this so much fun for so many people, while you must have been crazy busy! Enjoy Stitches and your vacation – you certainly deserve a fun and relaxing break.

  39. Suz

    Oooh! I love that hat. It matches my Winter dishes. No. I’m not kidding! LOL!!

    I did my first colorwork just this month for some “Warm Hands” mittens. I used a pattern from KnitPicks. The whole pattern had 5 colors and i found it to be very easy. I’m sure you’ll just sail through that hat! I can’t wait to see it finished!

    Congratulations on all of your exciting school news!

    Hmm. I didn’t realize “Stitches” was this coming weekend. Wonder what Deb’s working and if i can talk her into going? If i talk her into it, i’ll email!


  40. Susie

    Congratulations!!! I took MIS comps 3 years ago (UTK) and I really do understand what you’re going through right now. The waiting for results isn’t nearly as stressful as the week before and day of comps, though. Most comps are pass/fail, so don’t worry. Have fun at Stitches East. I wanted to try to go, but just can’t get away. I live in the Richmond, VA area, so it wouldn’t have been as far as some, darn it!

  41. Andrea

    Thank YOU!

  42. hillary

    Congratulations on finishing your exams. Library school is a great thing to have behind you.

    I’ll be at Stitches this weekend – probably Saturday. Maye I’ll see you there!

  43. Julia

    Congrats on your almost Masters! That is definately an accomplishment! I’ve had mittens on my to do list forever, yours are great! And fairisle? Love. It.

  44. Jessica

    Great mitten and mit. :) Congrats on finishing your exams! :) And you are going to *love* that hat kit. Just make sure you have the right length needle as it can be a real pain otherwise. Lots of people in my SnB have done/are doing Lady Elinor and they are beautiful. Have fun at Stitches!

  45. anne

    How funny – I perused the recommendations in your comments from back when you asked for fair isle advice, and went to Bea Ellis, and bought the exact same kit. Yay!

    And double YAY for comps. Finishing them is the BEST feeling. I felt great after my written exams too. (I hated the orals, on the other hand – hopefully you don’t have to endure those.)

  46. erica

    Congrats on finishing your exams. What a great way to reward yourself by knitting something fun and quick. Hopefully, your new calling will make wonderful use of your library degree.

    Thanks for making Socktoberfest such a fun thing to participate in. Enjoy your trip, SF is beautiful and wine country is so fabulous.

  47. Wendie

    Thank you so much for a wonderful Socktoberfest! Even though I didn’t manage to finish my socks (almost there!), I really enjoyed it and was continuously inspired.

    Yay for finishing exams, I bet that is a huge relief.

    I have knitterly friends coming in from Iowa, New York, and Canada to join me in my first Stitches Experience. We’re having a slumber party and everything. I can’t wait!

  48. Sarah

    Congratulations on finishing your exams. I am sure you did well.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled knitting!!!! (and reading)

  49. Amy

    Hip hip hooray!! You must be on cloud 9. You do deserve a big pat on the back.


  50. Michelle

    OHH love the mitten and the fetching. I was thinking of make a few pairs of the fetching mitts for my nieces. (I have 3 in college) Does it just take one ball of the Karabella for a pair?

    Congrats on being done with school!!!! I rember ho happy and smart i felt when I finished my masters!!!

    Socktoberfest was great fun! I did complete 3 socks…1 complete pair, and another that’s mate is in timeout! Hope to start another pair tonight!

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